Some folks from a design firm called Red Peak thought it'd be interesting to lock up a bike (fully-loaded with a basket, water bottle and lights) outside, in New York City for a year--just to, you know, see what happens. On January 1, 2011 they secured the bike, using a U-lock, to a CityRack in Soho (outside La Esquina?) and photographed it every day to document the destruction.
Watch in the time-lapse below as slowly, but ever so surely, the city devours the bike--the basket, the water bottle, the lights, the wheel--until about the nine month mark, when the whole thing disappears down Gotham's gullet:
Of course, anyone with a bike in New York City knows the sad (and underreported) reality of scavengers and thieves here, and that you should always lock both wheels and probably never leave your bike outside over night. And yet, it's still fascinating to watch just how fast the bike is dismembered and stolen. In Soho no less!
"You'd be happy to find that the rumors are true - New York is full of bicycle thieves," some employees of Red Peak told Gothamist. "We call this experiment Life-Cycle - a fascinating glimpse of elegant decay."